This post has been updated as of January 5, 2024.
If you have ever entered a Google search for “Cloud ERP,” then you have already seen one of the many advertisements NetSuite has put out. The Oracle-owned software provider is famous for those type of marketing tactics, especially for attacking competitors whenever they get the chance. Reviews, however, tell a much different story, and illustrate why you cannot rely on face-value marketing for choosing between cloud ERPs like Oracle NetSuite and Acumatica.
In writing, these two SaaS solutions appear very similar, but the real-world execution of their respective strategies often differ. While both bill themselves as agile cloud-native applications meant for smaller businesses, only Acumatica has proven itself as a flexible, affordable software product, while NetSuite is commonly accused of being overpriced for its target markets.
Here are five important factors to help you choose the best ERP when comparing Acumatica versus NetSuite:
1. What is “True Cloud”?
NetSuite marketing typically makes references to the solution being “the #1 Cloud,” “True Cloud,” or the “First True Cloud.” These designations are based on specific criteria, namely comparing a multi-tenant SaaS environment versus a single-tenant and/or hybrid model. While multi-tenant does provide the best cost-savings (though, in NetSuite’s case, these savings are not always passed onto the user), it is also true that living in a shared, completely digital infrastructure is not the most appropriate – or comfortable – option for every business.
One of the biggest differences between Acumatica and NetSuite is the publisher’s approach to the cloud. Specifically, Acumatica allows you to choose between SaaS, hybrid or even retaining an on-premise IT environment. New migrations may still live on the same servers, and regardless of your preference, the software remains a browser-based application accessible from any device.
2. Cost of Acumatica VS Cost of NetSuite
The biggest complaint you will find online about NetSuite is the per user and renewal prices. Users are hit with increasing price surges on top of the upfront costs and these can jump further when choosing to continue your service. This follows the trend of many traditional ERP implementations that deliver granular user pricing structures.
In contrast, Acumatica stands out against NetSuite and other traditionally priced enterprise software packages. Along with being cloud-native, Acumatica also exchanges the user-based pricing model for a purely resource-based cost plan that is implemented according to your preference. This means that you have the flexibility to transition between price levels at your discretion, instead of being forced into a rigid contract to capture the functionality you need.
3. Target Size and Markets
Ostensibly, Acumatica and NetSuite both target SMBs in the manufacturing, distribution, and services sectors with either branching out into additional markets in tech, utilities, etc. However, the difference in price indicates that this is not necessarily the case. Semi-officially, NetSuite is positioned for businesses with less than 1000 employees (as decided by Oracle), but there is a wide gap in that space between businesses that can and cannot afford the software’s upfront and renewal costs.
Acumatica’s competitive pricing makes it a much more attractive prospect for smaller companies looking to grow into the midmarket, while still delivering functionality at the enterprise level. Combining multiple vertical suites with the flexible deployment options means that Acumatica can be adjusted and positioned for diverse circumstances while still capturing visibility at all levels of your value chain.
4. Software Support and Customization
No ERP comes “out-the-box” ready to fit exactly to your present demands – there will always be some level of modification required to adjust the software to your processes. If you are lucky, these will be limited, but the more likely case is that you will need continuing consultation and development to fine-tune your system to your unique pain points and any future situations. In this case, publisher and reseller software support will make or break your ROI on your ERP.
NetSuite does not have the most stellar customer service record, especially when it comes to the SMB space. Neither are they known for providing customer access to training or the product source code, essentially preventing you from making your own in-house customizations. Reviews of NetSuite contribute to the consistency of their pricing reality, meaning that support improves significantly on the higher end of their tiered paywall.
Online user reviews also reveal that Acumatica beats NetSuite when it comes to customer satisfaction. Businesses that have switched further indicate that migrated users have an easier time with performance in addition to the decreased price. Acumatica permits extensive internal customization and with help from a top partner like SWK Technologies, you can build data entry and reporting that fits around your established processes and not the other way around.
5. Acquisitions, Ownership and Future
If you are still unsure whether Acumatica or NetSuite is best ERP for your business, then it may be because of the acquisition elephant in the room. Both of these publishers were bought with much fanfare by larger corporations; however, these acquisitions differed in all the stock market considerations those deals generated.
The purchase of Acumatica by EQT Partners appears to be less of a merger with their other ERP asset, IFS AB, and more of a portfolio addition crossed with an attempt at networking technology-driven software companies. Acumatica remains an automonous partner with its own focus and userr base.
The merger of Oracle and NetSuite is a little trickier to gauge, and there is still fallout from improprieties in the negotiations to this day. Besides all of the internal politics and legal ramifications of the acquisition, the reality is that Oracle is relying on NetSuite to pursue its strategy for cloud application revenue. NetSuite is currently generating more earnings than Oracle, and the latter’s executive bonuses are dependent on cloud software sales. Oracle’s leadership will continue to drive NetSuite to deliver SaaS profits to their shareholders, which in turn will cause that exorbitant NetSuite pricing to remain.
Acumatica VS NetSuite – The Best ERP Fits Your Needs
SWK Technologies has worked with both Acumatica and NetSuite, and we know that the former provides the most value to small and midmarket businesses. Our customers have seen firsthand how Acumatica delivers real-time insight into their operations while still costing less year over year than NetSuite.
View this SWK Customer Success Story to see how one distributor chose Acumatica over NetSuite as the best ERP for their unique demands.
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